2020 Launch & Vigil

Challenges unique to 2020 could not stop Newcastle from fulfilling its annual commitment to the Global 16 Days of Activism to End Violence against Women campaign.

A vigil launching the 16 Days and commemorating the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women was livestreamed from Civic Park on the evening of November 25.

In keeping with the #orangetheworld campaign action, the vigil included the activation of a permanent lighting display which bathed the park in orange.

Due to COVID restrictions, attendees were invited to join the vigil via the livestream. A core group of organisers, speakers and supporters facilitated proceedings from Civic Park.

Speakers at the Vigil include:
Councillor Carol Duncan (Lord Mayor’s Representative)
Sharon Claydon (Federal Member for Newcastle)
Associate Professor Trisha Pender (Director of the Gender Research Network at the University of Newcastle)
Liann Taffe (Case Worker at Warlga Ngurra Women and Children’s Refuge)
Kelly Hansen (CEO of Nova for Women and Children)
Samara Shehata (Community Health Officer from ACON)
Dr Nafi Ghafournia (Multicultural Liaison Officer at HNE Health) and
Rachel Bond (Project Officer of the Gender Research Network at the University of Newcastle).

In attendance to show their support were Tim Crakanthorp (State Member for NSW), Sharon Wilkinson (Northern Region Domestic & Family Violence Coordinator, NSW Police) and members of the NSW Police Force.

This event was organised by the Gender Research Network at the University of Newcastle. The lighting array was funded through the Special Business Rate scheme from the City of Newcastle as City Lights for Social Change, and supported by local audio and events experts, Scion.


For an account of the 2020 launch, lights and vigil see this blog by Gender Research Network members Dr Effie Karageorgos and Dr Kcasey McLoughlin.

16 Days Blogathon hosted by genderED at the University of Edinburgh, the Australian Human Rights Institute at the University of New South Wales and Ambedkhar University in Delhi.


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Photos by Eddie O’Reilly, University of Newcastle, Marketing and Communications. Reproduced with permission.

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